Dealing with BM Sensitively
I have two adopted children. My DS was adopted through foster care. My DD's adoption is through a private agency and is an open adoption. Thus far we have had a very good relationship with the BM. The BM is 16 and is still with the BF, though I think that the relationship is a little rocky right now. She was abadonded by her mother at the age of 3 and therefore has some issues regarding that. She is being raised by her GM. Anyway, I received the following e-mail from her yesterday. I changed everyone's name in the e-mail. BTW I sent her chocolates on Valentine's Day.
hi i just wanted to say thank you for the chocolates they are very good and also i was wondering if there was going to be a weekend when we could come pick Jane for the day and bring her up here so i can show her off to all my friends and take her to see sams mom house well write back thanks cassidy
I came across BM's myspace page. It is entitled Proud Mommy. She gives the apperance that she is raising Jane. The BM visits Jane at our house once a month, she lives an hour away, and I'm constantly e-mailing her pictures. I do not think that it is appropriate for her to come and pick her up to show her off to her friends for a variety of reasons. I tend to be a blunt person so can anyone help me draw the line here in a graceful manner? Also, would you be a little upset over this e-mail or am I over reacting? I feel like maybe the visits should be changed to every other month at this point. Is it wrong for me to feel this way? I don't want to hurt the BM, but I feel we could use some breathing room. I know this sounds crazy, but at this point I'm almost afraid that she may try stealing her. She did not want to give Jane up for adoption. The GM didn't give her any other option. Also, she claimed to be pregnant at the age of 14 on a web site for moms. I wish I would have never run across that one. She became pregnant at the age of 15 with Jane. I believe that Jane is her first child.
BTW Jane is 9 months old.
Thanks in advance for your advice and words of wisdom,
Momatlast, I can understand why the email and then the MySpace page would have been upsetting. It is time to set some privacy boundaries for your family (including Jane.)
How much counseling and pre-placement did Jane's birthmother receive from the agency? Were adoptive parents and birthparents given the opportunity to sit down together with an agency counselor and draw up a plan for what the openness would look like? If so, it should have included an expectation that visits would be at the adopting family's discretion, and that they would not include Jane's going away from home without her parents until she is much older!
It sounds to me as if your best first step is to go back to the agency social workers and ask for some help. This route takes the onus off of you and your husband as "bad guys keeping her away from the baby." It falls to the agency, then, to help her understand that her expectations are not realistic or appropriate.
Jane's birthmother may need some additional work to understand her role as a birthparent in an ongoing adoption. For example, she should not post pictures of Jane on any website. This invades both Jane's privacy and the rest of the family's. She needs to understand Jane's developmental age and that that itself would make it inappropriate for her to go away from home with relative strangers to her (once a month visits do not intimate relationship make with babies.)
After having some mediation with adoption professionals, they may recommend a change in the visitation pattern or they may not, but at the very least, their knowledge of and experience with open adoption will serve to help all of you negotiate a relationship that is in Jane's best interests.
Feel free to follow up with more questions. And please do let me know how this goes!